Monthly Archives: February 2014

“GROUNDHOG DAY!”

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That’s what it feels like. Hello, yes, we are not in Washington DC or at KatsuCon (http://www.katsucon.org/) again. Once again we got onto the Shuttle van. Once again we traveled to the Airport. This time we got checked in and endured some security theatre and were on our way to our gate when we got a phone call telling us that our flight from Chicago was cancelled, because, Hey! There’s this horrific snow storm shutting everything down for five hundred miles in every direction! Who could’ve seen that happening?!

So we collected our bags. We took a shuttle back. The dispatcher recognized us and just sort of shook her head in pity. Then we were informed that yet another set of tickets was waiting for us for Friday!You know what the definition of insanity is?

Kaja, however, put it very sensibly; KatsuCon, in effect, contracted for our services from Thursday, through Sunday. It’s not like we expected to get anything else done, so if we fulfill this contract by endlessly shuttling back and forth to the airport, at least we have done the best we can, and we get to sleep in our own bed. Plus, it’s rather flattering that they are going to this much effort to get us there. The way to look at it is to revel in all of the things that we got to do today that otherwise would have been taken up with sitting in a large steel can hurtling several miles above the frozen landscape; Had a really nice lunch in one of our favorite bistros (hey, we had babysitting- let’s not blow that). Took Experiment # 1 in and got his eyeglasses repaired (Sure, he could’ve endured living with a lump of duct tape holding them to his head for the weekend, probably would have built character. Certainly did for me, but theoretically, we are trying to do things better than our parents did. Big win there. No, my mom isn’t online {don’t ask]. Fixed the fence in the back yard (totally unrelated to eyeglass damage, but thanks for asking). Checked and refilled the car tires (Totally unrelated to the broken fence, but thanks for asking). Took some quality time to access the leak that appeared in my living room ceiling the day before yesterday during a sudden wind & rain storm (totally unrelated to anything, including physics, apparently, since said living room is on the ground floor, and there are two other stories above it which have no leakage whatsoever [and no, there’s no plumbing up there either]).

I had rather been looking forward to a nice relaxing convention 1500 miles away, now that I think about it. Who knows? Perhaps the 3rd time will be the charm. See you there!

Think Happy Thoughts

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We were supposed to fly out to KatsuCon (http://www.katsucon.org/) today. However, when we got to the airport, we were informed that our flight was cancelled due to the Fimbulwinter currently covering the East Coast. Eek. Oh well, could’ve been worse…We actually got stuck at a convention with Steve Jackson during a blizzard once and–

What? They’ve rescheduled our flight? Ah-and instead of it taking four and a half hours, it’ll take nine. Possibly because we’ll be hopscotching across the country on not one plane, but three. Great. Well, we will make sure that we check the weather reports as well as the flight announcements Before we haul all the way out to the airport this time, and Hope Really Hard that we don’t get stranded in Chicago. Your happy positive thoughts will be appreciated. I assure you that I’ll be fine once we actually get to the convention, which looks like it’ll be quite enjoyable, but I really hate the actual ‘travel’ part of modern air travel, which has been deteriorating ever since that unfortunate incident over Lakehurst, NJ.

Kaja was annoyed because she’d actually gotten everything packed to her satisfaction for this trip. Usually, when we travel, we bring too much (easy to do with Steampunk couture. All those bustles and vests, you know, and really, can you have too many spats? Trick question! No!). But this time, she has everything calculated out to a nicety, and none of the steamer trunks are even overweight. If anything, I’m a bit worried that we may be underdressed. We have proper winter coats, of course, which got us our share of odd looks while wearing them in Seattle’s balmy climate today, but a proper East Coast Winter can bite through them like cheese. Personally, I’m tempted to wear everything I have brought all the time, and just rotate the visible outer layer. So if I look a bit more bulky than usual, now you’ll know why.

The Bear is Still Lost…and it Turns Out I’m the Control Rat Again. Dang.

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We’re still holding out hope, although it is becoming rather faint. I’ve contacted the Sydney Airport, the AIRBUS shuttle company and Delta Airlines, but our bear seems to have disappeared into the aether. I don’t know how, he’s quite large, but there it is.

My Giant Sense of Personal Failure of the Week is compounded by the knowledge that there are super-fantastic Moms like Libby Malcolm out there; people who actually know how to use social media effectively to get things done…things like retrieve a daughter’s lost bear from the Mysteries of the Airports.

Tch. Same airport, same animal, same…(well, not quite the same day, as it turns out, but quite close)…and yet I still have a missing bear. What a loser I am.

Still, I’m really happy that Jess got her bear back, we don’t need two sad little girls without their bears…and tickled that the story involves Carol’s 1/2 personal favorite, Russell Crowe, being wonderful. (If you’re curious, the other 1/2 favorite is Benedict Cumberbatch…I hear a lot about both of these gentlemen without ever reading the feeds of the Tumblr myself…Hee!)

Now, I was posting this because I couldn’t sleep, maybe with this posted I’ll be able to relax a bit more. I still have some Australia pictures to share. I’ll be back soon, assuming I don’t drop off from sleep deprivation. Good Night!

Trapped In The Worst T.A.R.D.I.S. Ever

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So– Fun fact; We climbed aboard one of those newfangled flying machines in Australia, got scrunched down into a teeny little seat, flew back to America, which took about a million years, got decanted in L.A., willingly climbed aboard another aeroplane, flew back home and, technically, arrived home two hours before we departed. That is so not the way I want to do time travel. I want to go into a box and have a drink and pop out to see what happened in the next 50 years. Catch 22’s Dunbar is an idiot. Everyone kind of bumped around the house for awhile, and then we went to bed. The kids & Kaja slept for around 14 hours. I got off easy with a measly 12. Since then, we’ve just been getting back into the groove, sort of. Sorting laundry, opening mail, wondering why it’s so god damned cold…stuff like that.

Our last night down under, we did indeed go see The Magic Flute at the Sydney Opera House. Wow. I could not have asked for a better opera and production thereof to capture the interest of a ten year old. It was really good, and we were certainly entertained. I must say, that considering that Wikipedia lists it as the fourth most performed opera in the world, there aren’t a lot of snappy tunes in The Magic Flute. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that it’s been a while since any opera has cracked the Top 40 charts, but every opera of note that I’ve seen has something that’s made it onto the ‘Opera Highlights’ albums that my folks had lying around the old homestead. This? The closest we come is the Queen Of The Nights’s ‘Revenge’ song, which is admittedly striking, but is more famous because of the number of singers who have exploded onstage while trying to sing it.

But the night was still a great success, and we all came away humming the set, determined to become Masons. The performers were entertaining, the costumes were delightfully bizarre, and there was a plethora of enigmatic cartoon bears that even Kaja, who’s more into opera than the rest of us, was at a bit of a loss to explain. Experiment # 2 however, explained that they were there because “bears are funny”. I have to believe that old Wolfgang knew that.

And because our lives are not destined to be easy ones, now that we are getting used to feeling the soil of Seattle under our sandals once more, we have to get ready for another trip. Kaja and I are guests at KatsuCon this weekend (http://www.katsucon.org/). KatsuCon is an anime con a hop, skip, and a jump from Washington DC. We always love going to anime cons, and when they pay the bills, it’s even better. We’ll be selling books, and we’ll be performing the Girl Genius Radio Plays, and just kind of swanking around having a fine old time. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop by and say “Hi!”

We Have Left The Island. Now I Know How Gilligan Felt.

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We are now spending a day or so in Sydney, which is a very comfortable city Everyone we talk to is very friendly. We were last here when we flew in for the Australian Worldcon, and we keep walking around saying, “Oh! I remember this!” Which is a sign that we either enjoyed it, or are emotionally scarred. Pretty sure we enjoyed it.

The weather is cooler than up in the Whitsundays, but then, anything would be. It was refreshing to get hit with a breeze that doesn’t feel like getting wrapped in a hot, wet towel, and the food was a welcome bit of change too. Don’t get me wrong, Daydream Island had a respectable kitchen staff, but the menu was the same the entire time we were there, and we are, frankly, hedonistic creatures who thrive on variety. At the end of the fourth day, I was looking at the breakfast buffet, with its unchanging regimen of institutional scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, stewed tomatoes and veal sausage, and seriously considering pouring honey on my shoes and eating them…but if I splurged today, what would I have to look forward to tomorrow?

Looking this over, I’m aware that for a person on vacation, I’m grousing a lot, which is probably not sitting too well with some of my readers who are reading this as a desperate delaying tactic before they trudge outside to pour napalm over the car to try to get the engine block unfrozen. I apologize for this, but there’s an old family saying that admits that we’d “Bitch if we were being hung with a new rope.” …This actually raises some interesting questions about my family history that I never really thought about before.

Spent a little time wandering about Sydney today. The concierge of my hotel and I commiserated about the sad fact that there was only one real used book store in the city. I refuse to name them, because when I asked the owner if he had any Lord Dunsany, he wanted to know who the author was. Sic transit gloria mundi, m’lord. Stopped by Kings Comics (http://www.kingscomics.com/), a very fine shop that stocks Girl Genius, as well as many other worthwhile independent publishers. bought Experiment # 2 some My Little Pony graphic novels for the long flight home.

Strolling back to my hotel, I got caught in a rainstorm. So, like any other writer, I ducked into a wine seller’s shop. While there, I found Stone’s Original Green Ginger Wine– produced & bottled in Australia. I have never heard of this, even though, according to the bottle, it’s been made for over 270 years. If they let me take it through customs, I’ll let you know how it is.

We had an opportunistic stroke of luck, and tonight, we are taking the Experiments to see The Magic Flute at the Sydney Opera House. Apparently one of the designers is the lady who did all the puppetry work for Disney’s Lion King play, so I am expecting great things. It will be Experiment # 2’s first opera.

Oh Wait, It’s Raining Again…

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No worrys, not another cyclone, just plain old rain and continuous high winds. Well, that’s a load off my mind. I will confess to a bit of frustration here. Apparently we are at some sort of sea adventure nexus, where one can, during normal weather, charter a helicopter, rent a wide variety of fast sea craft, bother or try to capture numerous species of ocean life, take excursions to other islands and oceanic curiosities, or just lay out in the sun for more than one day a week. The last week or so? Not so much.

On the other hand, I pretty much asked for a vacation where I did nothing in an exotic locale. Next time I shall have to put more thought into the wording of my request.

But the experiments had a good time. In fact, they marveled at the fact that we were doing traveling that was completely unconnected to a convention. I found that a bit odd myself. That started when I was packing, and realized that I didn’t need half the stuff I usually drag along, because it was all business stuff. This resulted in surprisingly few panic attacks while we were on the road (“Where’s the cash box?!”), and I hardly tried to sell anything to the hotel staff at all.

Experiment #2 discovered that she liked ping-pong. A lot. We played almost every day, and she declared that we must install one in the basement. I am okay with this, once we finish sweeping stuff out. I grew up with a ping-pong table and consider it a fine builder of character and hand/eye coordination. Plus, it is an acceptable way to beat children.